Research indicates that employees who invoke the Family Medical Leave Act are much more likely to request short-term disability within a year. Rather than just sit with that sound bite, Integrated Benefits Institute advises companies to do something about it.  

"A worker's request for leave under the FMLA may be a precursor to other, more costly leaves. Rather than view the FMLA as strictly a legal compliance requirement, employers should consider using FMLA as an early-warning system to detect potential costly health issues among their employees and their families," said Thomas Parry, IBI president.

A panel of IBI experts has come out with six practical steps employers can take to address the impact on their business of such absences. 

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.